Video Voters' Guide Statement
Statement Against Proposition 1
Proposition 1 is not a Parks Levy.
Proposition 1 gives our parks to a new, permanent taxing district.
Seattle has some of the most beautiful and widely used parks in the nation. Our citizens have raised money for parks, volunteered for parks’ programs and fought to maintain them. We want to ensure our tax dollars care for our parks and maintain affordable programs for future generations. Vote NO on Proposition 1.
Proposition 1 would create an entirely new, independent agency that will take over our parks. This agency would exist forever – we would not be able to change it. The agency, under state law RCW 35.61, would be a Metropolitan Park District [MPD]. It would not have new elected leadership. The City Council has chosen to put themselves in control of the district. The MPD would not be accountable to the people of Seattle.
The MPD could raise your property taxes up to 75 cents per $1,000 of valuation without a public vote. State law allows MPD’s to sell, commercialize and privatize park assets. The MPD could fund new sports arenas, mega projects, buy, sell or condemn land and engage in any business activity “it shall judge desirable or beneficial to the public.” All without your vote.
Seattle residents have a history of collaboration with leadership that identifies priorities and places levies on the ballot. We trust that system. We have supported those levies. Levies hold our Council accountable to us and fund our parks and programs. We support keeping our Parks in the City’s General Fund. But we lose accountability and control of our parks unless we vote NO on Proposition 1.
We will be voting on more tax proposals this fall. We are losing the battle to keep Seattle affordable. We are piling devastating financial burdens on young families and our seniors. We urge you to vote NO on Proposition 1.
Our Parks Forever advocates submitting detailed periodic levies to the voters for their approval. Our parks budget should not be mingled with entities that are privately administered like the Zoo and the Aquarium. Mega-projects like a waterfront park should be funded separately. Let’s take care of park maintenance and cherished programs via levies people support.
Vote No on Proposition 1.
Chair, Parks Committee
Queen Anne Community Council
Senior Recreation Programming
Seattle Parks Advisory Council
Past Board Member
Seattle Parks Board
Rebuttal to Statement
Against Proposition 1
Opponents use highly misleading scare tactics. Proposition 1 was written to provide critically important parks funding, was studied extensively and approved overwhelmingly by a citizens committee of parks advocates, and was passed unanimously by the City Council and mayor.
It requires strict transparency and accountability, including a citizen oversight committee and annual performance audits. It increases oversight, not reduces it:
- It does not create any new agency or bureaucracy. Funds raised are dedicated to priority parks needs, not building stadiums.
- All property remains under Seattle Parks and Recreation, governed by City Charter and subject to Initiative 42, restricting the sale of public property. No parks will be sold. Actually, this measure includes funding to create new parks across Seattle.
- Unlike past levies, Prop 1 maintains the parks we have so they are clean, safe and accessible to all.
Prop 1 is accountable to citizens. Please vote YES on Proposition 1.
Former Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation
Co-Chair, Seattle Parks Legacy Citizens Committee
Board Member, Yesler Community Center
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